Five Questions for Jason Higdon

Recruiting analyst Jason Higdon goes in depth with five burning questions about Florida Gator recruiting. With 16 commitments on board already, the recruiting board has dropped considerably with just a couple of critical need positions left to land a prospect or two. Higdon tackles five questions here for you.

1. It is a big weekend for the recruitment of quarterbacks at Florida with the top two targets left on the board visiting at the same time. What and how do you see it going down this weekend?
Jason Higdon: "Some would say it's unfortunate both Ryan Buchanan and Tim Boyle are going to be in Gainesville at the same time. While it was not set up this way by the coaching staff on purpose, I believe it will pay huge dividends moving forward.

"Quarterback's are coming off the board at an alarming rate right now and no one wants to be left out. It appeared as if Syracuse was the leader for Tim Boyle before the Florida offer came and then things changed. Syracuse recently landed a quarterback and things seemed to be moving a little bit faster. Is Boyle coming in this weekend to make his intentions known to the coaching staff for fear of losing a spot? Hmmmm.

"Ryan Buchanan has serious ties to Ole Miss, ties that are so strong some believe there is not a chance in this world he would pick the Gators over the home town Rebels. Buchanan understands it's a bit of a risk to sign with Ole Miss in my opinion and is coming in this weekend to give Florida every opportunity to convince he and his family Gainesville is the place to be.

"Talking with both players they understand the importance of securing a spot regardless of public or silent commitments. The quarterback situation will be resolved this weekend no question about it. The answer is a bit more complicated because how can anyone predict how the Buchanan/Boyle family will respond to this weekend's visit? I think Ryan is looking for the smallest of reason's to pick the Gators. He has been in contact with numerous Gator commitments which really has him thinking about the talent level he would be surrounded by in the Swamp. Heading into the weekend I would give Buchanan a slight edge over Boyle 60/40."

2. With the need for three DE's in the class, are there any targets that are committed to other schools that could eventually wind up in the class? Who and why would they be a big target?
Jason Higdon:"Right now there are so many defensive end type players from Jordan Sherit, Demarcus Walker, Antonio Riles, Isaac Rochell, Elijah Daniel and Darius Latham that I don't think you will see any players committed elsewhere seriously get in the fold. The thing to remember with this staff is they play 300-pound defensive ends so we are still learning what they want at that position day in and day out.

"With that said it's hard to truly rule anyone out based on size alone like we could with the previous staff. To answer the original question I would go with Carl Lawson. Lawson announced early for the Auburn Tigers and if there was one player that "may" start to look around I would go with Lawson and the Gators would certainly look in his direction.

"There is one more player that "might" start to look around and it's Joey Bosa. I have talked with two people and both have entirely different stories about Bosa. On the one hand there is no way he sticks with Ohio State and on the other hand there is no turning back and he sticks. The problem is figuring out who is right and who is wrong. I think it could become clear in the coming months but until we see that trigger it's hard to say. I do think he is a guy to keep an eye on to see if he starts to take some trips to other places including Gainesville."

3. Your mortgage is up for grabs here... which assistant coach at UF would you put it on to seal the deal on any one recruit? Why?
Jason Higdon:"The head coach of any program is the one with the "juice" but in this case I understand that is not the answer you are looking for. I debated over this question for a long time with three possible answer's but can only go with one.

"I think right now I would say Travaris Robinson for a few reason's. The first being he is a younger coach that every kid seems to relate with on a personal and professional level. He is very outgoing and speaks his mind and I think kids/parents appreciate his recruiting approach and how he attacks certain situations. Well spoken, articulate and he simply gets it on every level."

4. In your opinion, who is the number one target for 2014 (at this time and knowing it can change)?
Jason Higdon:"Some 2014 prospects we talked about over the last several weeks include the following. Las Vegas (Nev) Bishop Gorman safety Nathan Starks. La Jolla (CA) Country Day High School offensive linemen Jordan Poland. Starks will be recruited by everyone including Florida but I would not expect the Gators to "really" recruit Poland. Linebacker Hoza Scott checks in from La Porte (TX) and is 6'3 225-pounds. Ed Paris out of Arlington (TX) Mansfield Timberview is one of the very best the state has to offer. Jabrill Peppers from Paramus (NJ) Catholic High School, a Don Bosco Prep transfer, CB 6'0 190-pounds. In the South a few names are Sony Michel (If Healthy) from Plantation (FL) American Heritage checking in at 5'11 190-pounds with blistering speed. Da'Shawn Hand is a 6'4 250-pound defensive linemen from Woodbridge (VA), Kain Daub out of Florida is a monster linebacker at 6'3 230-pounds as a Junior, Nease High School. Bo Scarborough from Tuscaloosa (AL) checking in as a 6'2 215-pound outside linebacker is one of the best in Alabama for 2014. Donnell Stanley from South Carolina, Latta High School will be one of the most heavily recruited linemen in the Southeast for next year's class.

"These are all players you are going to read about over the next 12 months or so. Some will take trips to Florida while others will never step foot on campus. As it stands today I feel based off everything we understand you need to look at Nease with linebacker Kain Daub. I think players like Hand and maybe even defensive tackle Andrew Brown could have a higher ceiling but I will always go with a player from the Sunshine state as the number one target for the University of Florida."

5. When do you believe we will start seeing 2014 commitments?
Jason Higdon:"This is a bit of an unknown right now. We don't have enough test groups to accurately say one way or the other. Once Will Muschamp has three to four full recruiting cycles under his belt he will establish more of a consistent pattern on how he wants it to work out.

"Recruiting for the University of Florida is clearly changing. The 2013 class had two players commit before NSD for the 2012 class with Adam Lane announcing on January 21st and Caleb Brantley on January 28th and both Daniel McMillan and James Hearns on February 2nd the day after NSD. The actual "taking" of verbal commitments has been fast forwarded several months and will only increase over time as Muschamp and the rest of the staff establish themselves. To predict, state or tell about in advance based on information is what we try and do. If we look at a series of certain situations and events we start to paint a picture of what lies ahead.

"In this case the staff is working so incredibly hard right now with some underclassmen it's hard not to imagine someone jumping on board during the Summer months or into the early part of the season."


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